Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2001


This essay, however, is less concerned with the campaign finance aspects of Shrink than with the decision's broader implications. In the course of its decision, the Shrink Court not only obfuscated the standard of scrutiny applicable to contribution regulations, it effectively ignored the government's lack of factual support for the law, instead accepting the state's assertions at face-value. Consequently, Shrink is far more than a simple application of Buckley. Rather, it reflects fundamental problems with the Court's standards of review in First Amendment cases generally. The more global nature of Shrink's problems suggest that, despite scholarly focus on the Buckley framework, more than just campaign finance reform is at stake.Part I of this Essay discusses legal background, focusing first on the Court's decision in Buckley and then on the Shrink litigation. Part II itemizes Shrink's flaws, ultimately concluding that those flaws cannot be attributed solely to Buckley. Finally, Part III examines the Court's standards of scrutiny in First Amendment cases and argues that Shrink results at least in part from flaws found in those standards.



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